Minor anomalies in children with developmental disabilities

Minor anomalies may occur in healthy individuals, but their frequency is significantly increased in some groups with prenatal developmental disturbances. A high frequency of minor anomalies observed in one individual may serve as an indicator of disturbed prenatal development. In the present study minor physical anomalies were examined in a group of developmentally disturbed (DD) children. The sample comprised 606 children and adults aged 5 to 20 years (303 DD children, and 303 controls). The patient sample of 303 DD children comprised 176 mentally retarded (MR), 70 children with hearing impairment (HI), and 57 children with visual impairment (VI). The control sample included 303 healthy subjects matched in sex and age. The Waldrop physical anomaly score was used to assess minor anomalies in all groups. There was no significant sex differences in the number of minor anomalies in the different groups. The average number of minor anomalies per individual or Waldrop 1 (W1) was significantly higher in DD children (M = 3.81) than in the control group (M = 1.99; p < 0.001). The Waldrop weighted score (W2) was also significantly higher in DD children (M = 3.80) compared to healthy controls (M = 1.82; p < 0.001). The high values of W1 and W2 compared to normal controls were obtained in the groups of MR, HI and VI children. The findings obtained of a high number of minor anomalies per person and their high weighted score in DD children suggest that genetic factors play an important role in the developmental disturbance in these children during early prenatal development. Minor anomalies in DD children can serve as an important indicator of an early developmental disorder.
Category: Original scientific paper
Volume: Vol. 46, No 3, july - september 2002
Authors: I. Škrinjarić, J. Jukić, K. Škrinjarić, Z. Ulovec
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